My name is Marie and I am a group exercise instructor, a wife, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a mother of three, a grandma, a foodie, a fitness enthusiast, a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant and your fitness accountability partner.
My Story ….
So many years ago … I used to be really fit – back in the day, I used to teach “group exercise – “aerobics” – you know, Jane Fonda Style. I was young, care-free, slim, thought I could eat anything I desired. That was back then …
Fast forward, 1991 after I had my first child. Although I gained a few pounds, I still felt ok with myself. Baby number 2 came a little bit over a year after baby number 1. I gained a few more pounds. The kids kept me busy … work kept me busy while my hubby went to school. A few years later, surprise baby number 3 came. We were excited and super happy. But then life got BUSIER.
My main FOCUS were the kids. With the hubby working full time – I stayed home to watch kids. The kids grew and I GREW too. I blame the weight gain to poor food choices, lack of exercise and just a lack of motivation to love myself a little more.
I gained quite a bit of weight through the years. The clothes got tighter. Keeping up with the kids got tougher. I would huff and puff every time I exerted myself. If I walked a distance or stood for too long and took a break, even for 10 minutes – I would have the hardest time getting back up. My feet would feel numb. I was just tired all the time. I had to take blood pressure medication and cholesterol medication. To top it off, I have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes – all because I didn’t think to take care of “me”.
My turning point …
Everything was fine in my world as I would like to think until I got a facebook message saying that we were having a high school reunion. OMG! I freaked out. I used to be the skinny girl in high school and now … I was not. It looked like I swallowed that skinny girl. I was seriously panicking – what were my old high school classmates going to say? I had a lot of sleepless nights contemplating if I should even show up. But, I somehow managed to suck it up and show up … It wasn’t all that bad (I wasn’t the only one who grew) … but it wasn’t good either.
The sad truth – Pictures don’t lie!
After the reunion, I must admit, for the first time, I was bothered by how much weight I have gained. I remember looking at photos in the Christmas of 2009 and stared … and then cried … I was BIG!!! How did I allow that to happen? I tried to look for the original photo taken but couldn’t find it only to realize that I have been cropping all the photos so that I don’t have to look at the REAL picture. I didn’t have a lot of photos maybe because I was the designated historian of the family – the appointed picture taker … or maybe because I DIDN’T care to have my photo taken.
In 2010, I decided to finally shift the FOCUS to ME… give myself some LOVE. I started working out – walking first, then a few at home workout videos. After successfully losing 5 pounds, I got introduced to Zumba by a very good friend. Since I loved dancing when I was younger, it was a perfect fit. Without even trying one class, I decided to sign up for licensing to teach it. THAT WAS BOLD!!!
I mean, who was I going to teach? Who was going to go and exercise with the BIG Zumba instructor. I pushed that negative thought to the side and just went to get licensed. After, I got my license, I started looking for a place to teach. I found a local dance studio who let me use their space. And so … the dancing began ….
I started with a few close friends as students and slowly – grew my classes. I had no excuse not to exercise – I was getting paid to help people lose weight. If that is not MOTIVATION to lose weight, I don’t know what is. I mean, I can not “NOT SHOW UP” cause I already took payment. A few months into teaching group exercise and after dropping some weight, I got cleared off of blood pressure and cholesterol medication. I was so HAPPY!!!
I started teaching one class format – ZUMBA (was my cardio workout that helped me drop most of the weight), more weight started to fall off when I started teaching other formats like Kick boxing and Tabata Bootcamp. But now that I have lost the weight – Barre has helped me tone up – BIG TIME!
Fast forward to the present …
I have lost about 50 pounds since I started my weight loss journey. I have been helping people get back into fitness since 2010. My personal weight loss was not a quick process but the weight has not come back. I have embraced a healthier life style – I am happier, healthier and now I do not hide when people want to take photos. I am able to better care for all the people I love – all because I loved myself a little bit more and started taking care of me.
Where am I now?
I currently teach group exercise at my local YMCA – been teaching since 2010. I am licensed to teach Zumba, Barre, Tabata Bootcamp, and Silver Sneakers. I have also taught kick boxing, PiYo, and Hip Hop Hustle.
How can I help you?
If you let me, I am here to be your fitness accountability partner. I have been through a weight loss and fitness journey myself – I know the challenges. Follow me in social media via my blog and IG feed and feel free to reach out and ask questions.